[Albany] - Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-IP, Rome) praised the the Governor for acting on a bill today that would increase the penalties for killing a police dog.
Griffo co-sponsored the companion legislation (Senate # 1079A) in the Senate which passed the bill in March 2013.
While the bill has passed the Senate in previous years (including unanimous support last year), this year marked the first time that the measure passed the Assembly.
The concern drew more attention this spring, after the shooting death of an FBI-canine, “Ape,” in Herkimer, during a police building-to-building search.
Currently, under New York State law, those who harm a police canine can only be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This bill increases the penalties for killing or injuring all law enforcement and emergency services canines by making it a Class D felony.
“These dogs help protect the public and when you attack them, you’re a threat to law enforcement,” said Griffo. "After talking to the trainers and handlers of these animals, you know that these animals are specialized and highly-trained. Not every canine is capable of serving the personnel in law enforcement or emergency services."
Under current law, a person is guilty of this crime when the animal is killed or injured only while the animal is performing its duties. If approved by the Governor, the new law would expand the crime to include killing or injuring the animal when the animal can be identified as a police animal by means of its presence in a police vehicle or an emergency vehicle, or by its enclosure in a marked area.
POLICE DOG PROTECTION BILL HISTORY:
S.4701 of 1997/1998; Referred to Senate Codes Committee
S.4448 of 1999/2000; Referred to Senate Codes Committee
S.1901/A.1369 of 2001/2002; Referred to Senate Codes Committee
S.561/A.1615 of 2003/2004; Passed Senate
S.701-A/A.296-A 2005/2006; Passed Senate
253-A of 2007/2008; Passed Senate
S.1403 of 2009/2010; Referred to Senate Codes Committee
S.518 of 2011/2012; Passed Senate
S.1079-A; Passed Senate; Passed Assembly